It was 1903. It featured all the latest plumbing technology. It was a “Model House”, and it has piqued Master Plumbers heritage curator Peter Jensen’s interest.
When Master Plumbers heritage curator Peter Jensen was called to the up-market restaurant at 44 Little Bourke Street Melbourne, he knew he was in for a treat.
The graded red brick floor shows the open channel drain with drainage pits. The ware marks from the horses’ hooves can also be seen in what would have been the stalls.
Here’s an unusual but still a plumbing-related heritage article, not a restaurant review. I promise I am not horsing around.
While still working at Worboys Plumbing some years ago, one of our plumbers Steve (who had been called to a burst hot water service) called me from The Longrain Restaurant, saying I needed to come down to the site to see something. He knew I had an interest all things old.
It wasn’t the burst hot-water system he wanted me to see, but the building itself. You see it was once used as stables to house working horses. They were housed on the first floor, ready to transport various goods around the city in circa 1900’s. The skill of these tradesman that laid these bricks and created the channels is to be recognised.
A long steady ramp leads up from the Little Bourke Street entrance.
There was little sign of water damage to the ceilings below. The cast iron drainage system with molten lead joints had been long removed but they would have been good to see.
This first-floor area was to be fitted out as another dining area featuring much of the exposed red bricks with some under glass.
The redgum stall post cut off at floor level can still be seen.
Due to COVID 19 the restaurant closed its doors. Let’s hope it can reopen as it is a great venue to wine and dine and see a little of that hidden history.
For more information or to donate heritage tools and collectables, contact Peter Jensen at [email protected] or phone 0451 744 336.